Maigret on Holiday, Georges Simenon, 1948

Maigret finds himself with empty time in Les Sables d’Olonne, a seaside village where he and Mrs. Maigret are on vacation, when the latter needs an appendectomy. After visiting her one afternoon, he finds a slip of paper in his vest pocket which says “For pity’s sake, ask to see the patient in room 15”. When that patient dies during that night, Maigret is launched on a complicated investigation in a town which he doesn’t know and where everyone knows him. A second death ups the ante and the suspense builds to an anticipatable but exciting ending. One of the very best Maigret mysteries and one worth reading as a perfect introduction to the burly, plodding, and very insightful Chief Inspector.